Bedfordshire children vaccinated in catch-up sessions as measles cases continue to rise

Thousands of vaccinations were missed during the Covid pandemic
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Hundreds of children and young people and their families have taken up the option of catch-up vaccinations at a series of half term clinics in Bedfordshire last week, as the number of measles cases in England continues to rise.

Sessions held during school holidays in 2023 saw youngsters catch up on thousands of vaccinations missed during the Covid pandemic, but recent concerns over the number of measles infections have seen a further surge in interest from families whose children remained unprotected against infectious diseases.

Almost 50 children were vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella, providing them with the protection they need against these dangerous infections.

Around 600 youngsters have been vaccinatedAround 600 youngsters have been vaccinated
Around 600 youngsters have been vaccinated

Other sessions, targeted at teenagers, saw even higher numbers attending, with almost 200 young people vaccinated against four dangerous strains of meningitis (MenACWY) and a further 200 against diphtheria, tetanus and polio (DTP). More than 70 were also vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause cervical cancer and several other types of cancer.

In total, almost 600 vaccinations were provided to children and young people, aged from one to 18 years, across eight clinic venues at family hubs and community centres.

Dr Sarah Whiteman, chief medical director at Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board, said: “Some programmes were paused during the Covid pandemic, which means they may not have been offered at your school when yours was due. Maybe your family opted out at the time but you have since changed your mind and now wish to receive a vaccination. Whatever the reason, it’s good to see that parents and young people know the value of vaccination and have come forward in such huge numbers during the half term holiday. If you couldn’t attend but your children still need to catch up on any missed jabs, your general practice can offer advice.

“Remember that vaccinations against measles, mumps and rubella help protect others too, especially if you have other children at home who can’t be vaccinated because they’re too young or have health complications.

“I’d also urge parents of both girls and boys to take up the offer of an HPV vaccination when it comes your way in or around Year 8. The jab doesn’t only protect your son or daughter, but their future partner too.”

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